Abuja - The All Progressives Youth Forum (APYF) has condemned the alleged human rights violations by the Department of State Security.
The criticism follows the alleged intimidation and harassment of the All People Congress (APC) Deputy National Secretary, Nasir Elrufai.
“Many have since argued that the system of government obtainable in Nigeria is in fact not a democracy, but a civilian dictatorship. In all honesty, without necessarily adopting a defeatist mentality, we acknowledge that the government’s attitude of using state security agencies to serve a personal purpose attests to this.
The individualization of government, as opposed to institutionalization of democracy is a dangerous trend which, if not arrested, would spell doom for this country,” the forum said in a statement jointly signed Rinsola Abiola and Barrister Isma’il Ahmed who serve as Public Relations Officer and Chairman respectively.
“We remember the dark days of the military era, when anyone who dared to speak the truth or say anything contrary to what the government desired would either go on exile or find himself behind bars; it is sad and disheartening that a supposedly democratic government would take us back to an era which we believed had passed.
The constant harassment of leaders of the opposition could be taken to mean only one thing; that this government is intolerant beyond measure and would stop at nothing to silence the opposition.”
The forum accused the current administration of rigging elections in favour of the ruling party.
“While violence is no way to solve problems, the pervasive poverty and frustration which abounds in the country is one reason why each time there seems to be an issue, the masses – who have lost hope in the rule of law – decide to take the law into their own hands.
What Nasir ElRufai warned against was a repetition of this brazen rape on democracy and Nigerians’ rights. He did not incite people or even attempt to, he simply urged the ruling party to desist from rigging in order to avert the bloodshed which could result from manipulating election results.”
The group alleged those behind threats were not brought to book.
“The likes of Asari Dokubo and Edwin Clark have stated many times that “Nigeria will burn” and that “there will be war” if the President (Goodluck Jonathan) is not reelected in 2015. All of a sudden, someone makes a genuine statement out of concern and love for his country and he is to be arrested? Should this be taken as proof of the many allegations of ethnic bias on the President’s part? One is forced to ask: is Nasir El-Rufai being hounded and harassed by the SSS now because he happens to be from an ethnic group outside the President’s and furthermore dared to be a member of the opposition.”
– CAJ News